Aging Population Increases Personal Care Role

PSW program trains staff to work with elderly; job status growing as salaries average $36,000

Kerry Harrison divides her work week between two elderly women. She spends four weekday mornings in one woman’s Toronto home, and three weekday evenings and Sunday mornings in the other’s. Both women are in the early stages of dementia, and Harrison helps them bathe, prepares a meal, does light housework and spends plenty of time chatting and doing crossword puzzles with them.

“It doesn’t seem like work,” says Harrison, 45, who receives $20 an hour for her services. “I feel like I’m being paid to hang out with people I like.”